Tyson Foods invests US$26m in bacon facility expansion even as it settles chicken price-fixing lawsuit

US – American multinational food corporation Tyson Foods has announced that it is investing $26 million to expand production at its Wright Brand bacon facility in Vernon, Texas.

The expansion project – which is scheduled for completion by March this year – is expected to create 32 new jobs, bringing the plant’s workforce to more than 800.

The Wright Brand has reportedly increased volume by 29% since 2017, surpassing bacon category growth during the same period.

With the expansion, Tyson Foods which is the world’s second largest processor and marketer of chicken, beef, and pork, expects to satisfy current demand and allow room for additional growth.

“We’re pleased we can continue to build on the proud heritage of this iconic and delicious brand,” said Noelle O’Mara, group president of prepared foods for Tyson Foods.

“More importantly, we’ve had a strong presence in Vernon for nearly 100 years as one of the largest employers. It’s an honour to continue that long history by adding new jobs in the local community.”

Last year, Tyson Foods announced that it had invested $27 million to upgrade its prepared foods production site in Caseyville, Illinois.

The bacon facility expansion comes at a time when Tyson Foods and Pilgrim’s Pride have agreed to settle claims made by a group of poultry buyers that accused them of conspiring to inflate chicken prices.

The two companies reached a deal to resolve a four-year legal battle over alleged over price-fixing collusion in the chicken industry.

As part of the agreement, Pilgrim’s will pay US$75 million to settle claims by purchasers that bought chickens directly from the company. Tyson’s settlement amount was however not made public.

Neither company admitted liability and both said settling the claims was in their best interests, according to Reuters

Reuters also highlighted that both settlements which require approval by a federal judge in Chicago do not affect claims against other defendants such as Sanderson Farms and Perdue Farms.

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